Tim's Reviews > Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die

Made to Stick by Chip Heath
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M_50x66
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May 11, 10

Read in May, 2010

I secretly love advice books. Especially business advice books. This is probably mainly because I am not a businessman, have no real connection to the corporate world, and as a result, the whole culture seems foreign and exotic to me. Business advice books are my escapist literature. I had heard good things about Chip and Dan Heath's Made to Stick so I decided to check out a copy.

The book begins by asking why urban legends are so pervasive, so sticky, to use the terminology of the book. Maybe you've heard the one about a man who meets a strange woman in a bar, takes her up to his room, and the next thing he knows, he comes to in a bathtub of ice with a note from the woman telling him she's stolen his kidney so he'd better call 911. This story, and others like it, have been passed around by word of mouth and by email until they are fixtures of our culture. The Heath brothers argue that we could all take a lesson in communication from things like urban legends, and that we can make even the most mundane-seeming messages fascinating and memorable to other people.

Their argument is convincing largely because they practice what they preach--the book is filled with entertaining anecdotes (like a press conference that singlehandedly changed the way movie theaters make popcorn), insightful analysis, and an overall accessible tone, making a book on what could be a very dry subject (effective communication) into a bit of a page-turner.

Made to Stick is actually more broadly aimed than many business books, tailoring its arguments to businessmen, teachers, and anybody who needs to communicate effectively. The Heaths outline their findings with the acronym SUCCESs: effective communication requires a Simple message, an element of the Unexpected, Concrete details, Credibility, Emotion, and Stories. The detailed advice they give for each element of the acronym is practical and helpful; they make recommendations that I can actually see myself putting into practice. Overall, this book does an impressive job of taking complicated ideas and conveying them in a way that's both entertaining and useful.

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message 2: by Dave (new) - added it

Dave Burns All you comments seem positive, so why only 3 stars?


message 1: by Tim (new) - rated it 3 stars

Tim Dave wrote: "All you comments seem positive, so why only 3 stars?"
Good question. I remember liking it, and I'd definitely recommend it.


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